Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Pranksters
How We Staged the Morristown UFO Hoax
by Chris Russo and Joe Rudy
April 1, 2009
In this week’s eSkeptic, we reveal the behind the scenes workings of that UFO hoax that captured headlines earlier this year. People in and around the Morristown, New Jersey area saw unidentified flying objects, with many of them naturally assuming that these UFOs represented extraterrestrial space craft. As you shall see, there was a rather more terrestrial explanation. In fact, they were helium balloons with flares attached to them, lofted into the sky by Chris Russo and Joe Rudy, in their social experiment on how to create your own media event surrounding UFO sightings.
Even though this does not mean that all UFO sightings are hoaxes — of course many represent other terrestrial (instead of extraterrestrial) events such as the planet Venus, military aircraft, weather balloons, advertising planes, and the like (and even, pace Men in Black, swamp gas) — it does reveal how the human mind connects the dots and fills in the gaps with plausible explanations that often include fantastic tales of alien beings. Enjoy the story and watch the video clips of this amazing hoax!